Macro: A Downie Woodpecker and Some Comments on Cameras (two Photographs)

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This bird was none too cooperative in posing for me, it seemed pre-occupied by something else.

It may seem I have strayed over the last few posts from my original topic of macro and close-up photography. With the basics out-of-the-way the next step is to talk about how to get close. In one of the first posts in this series I spoke about the advantages of high megapixel cameras (though too many megapixels will fill your drives in no time). I like the 20-24 megapixel range it seems to work well enough and permits serious cropping. The camera needs to be able to go into manual mode, use detachable lenses and the lenses need to able to be focused manually. You also need control over shutter speed, aperture and white balance. A modest frame rate (the number of shots you can take in sequence is a good to have). I think I have described most modern cameras. In my post on the “rule of reciprocity” I distinguished between full frame and cropped sensor cameras. The distinction is important in close-up and macro photography as the crop factor applies to the aperture (F stop) as well. On a cropped sensor multiply the f-stop by the crop factor (Nikon 1.5) and our wonderfully fast f 2.8 lens is suddenly a f4 lens, and you never even noticed. In my next post I will talk about depth of field and macro and close-up photography.

6 responses

  1. Hi Victor, great series of posts recently, very informative. Just wanted to point something out though about crop factor and aperture – DoF is impacted by the crop factor in the way you describe, but the speed/light gathering properties of the aperture remain the same. In other words if your settings on a FF camera were say F2.8 at 1/2000sec at ISO 100, does not mean that it would become an F5.6 at 1/1000thsec at ISO 100 on an M43 sensor with its x2 crop factor. On the M43 your exposure settings would be identical to the FF, only the DoF would act like F5.6. Thanks


    January 13, 2018 at 2:30 am

    • True. I tried to keep it simple but very much worth mentioning.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 13, 2018 at 2:46 am

      • I know what you mean, simple is often best…..but as a dedicated crop sensor (m43) shooter I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about this particular issue.


        January 13, 2018 at 3:12 am

        • So do I, the promotional aspects are misleading. But I only mentioned what changed not what remains the same.

          Liked by 1 person

          January 13, 2018 at 3:15 am

        • Your comment is going up next week in a post I wrote on other aspects of aperture in close-up photography.

          Liked by 1 person

          January 13, 2018 at 2:30 pm

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